How to pack, roll and store your packraft

Some basic advice on how to look after and store your packraft

Here’s our advice on packing, rolling and storing your packraft

An MRS packraft is an awesome piece of kit, technologically advanced and using only the best materials. Cared for correctly they can give you many years of service, far beyond traditional cheap PVC inflatables. If you roll and pack them correctly, they can also pack down incredibly small to accompany you on the most challenging of adventures alongside your other carefully selected gear.

A frequent question we receive;

We want to make sure we protect our TiZIP when rolling our packraft, how can we do this correctly.

We will answer the above, and more below.

Storing your MRS packraft

When your MRS packraft first arrives from us, it will be folded flat. This is the best way to store your packraft when being stored for prolonged periods, without too much strain on the folds and ensuring, if you have a TiZIP fitted, that it is stored flat (i.e. not rolled and never folded across the zip!). Storing your packraft this way will help prolong it’s life and still maintains its compact stowable size, sufficient to fit into most, even small, household, campervan or boat storage cupboards or lockers.

The video clip below shows how your MRS packraft will arrive, which is also how best to store it after your adventure.


It is important that when you store your packraft, you also keep it dry and in an area not subject to moisture or damp. This will help prolong its life, but particularly if you have a TiZIP fitted. TiZIPs are particularly sensitive to being stored for long periods in damp conditions and can suffer from hydrolysis, a chemical reaction with the TiZIP material which can lead to degradation of the material and air leaking. In a TiZIP, this would normally be evident by bubbles appearing when soapy water is applied to the surface of the TiZIP while the packraft is fully inflated. SeeĀ TiZIP Maintenance to learn how to properly maintain your TiZIP, to prevent such degredation appearing. If you find this occurring, please see How to repair your packraft.

Rolling your packraft

Getting your MRS packraft ready for adventure is one of the most exciting things and illustrates how incredible your MRS packraft is. Not only are MRS packrafts incredibly light, they are also incredibly compact thanks to the highly technical polyurethane coated nylon. One important property of the material is that it is highly elastic, allowing it to be rolled, unrolled and rolled again many times to allow easy portage.

Your packraft can be rolled very tightly, then a strap around to secure it in it’s rolled shape, then either placed inside your backpack, or if your backpack has suitable external straps, it can be strapped onto the outside (usually the top of a backpack). The process of rolling involves squashing all the air out of your packraft, laying flat, then folding the sides into the middle in thirds, then rolling tightly from the end opposite the main inflation valve. Following this process will ensure any remaining air is squashed out as you roll the packraft towards the valve. Once you reach the end where the valve is, squash out the remaining air in the end, and replace the valve – this will prevent air re-filling into the packraft; alternatively, leaving the valve open is also ok given a tightly secured strap around the rolled packraft would, in any event, help reduce the potential for any air to find it’s way back in.

See video clip below showing how a packraft can be rolled. Please note, further advice for packing a packraft which has a TiZIP is provided further below.


If your MRS packraft is fitted with a TiZIP, you will need to roll your packraft a certain way. If you fold your TiZIP, twist or roll too tightly, you risk damaging it; given that your TiZIP is holding air into your packraft, it is very important it is looked after carefully. You can roll your packraft with a TiZIP fitted in one of two ways. The best way is to keep your TiZIP straight and to roll your packraft in a way that doesn’t need to bend the TiZIP (as shown in video further below, showing the MRS Microraft L with TiZIP being rolled). If you do decide to roll your TiZIP lengthways to achieve a more compact packed shape; this is also ok but requires greater care to protect your zip. To roll your packraft along the TiZIP lengthways, follow the same steps as shown in the earlier video above, but ensure you roll from the opposite end of the packraft first so that whilst the TiZIP is rolled along it’s length, it is not done tightly and therefore causes less strain on the zip itself (i.e. if the TiZIP is in the centre of a rolled packraft, it can place undue strain on the teeth of the zip).

For the optimum way to roll your packraft, please see the video below.


Packing your packraft

The above sections have shown how best to store your packraft, and then compactly roll it ready to carry it on or in your backpack.

MRS Packrafts are amazingly compact, and most of the range, except the larger models and particularly tandems, will fit inside a standard 25 litre backpack. For the larger models such as the MRS Barracuda R2, MRS Adventure X2 and some of the larger singles such as the MRS Microraft XL and MRS Nomad S1D would benefit from a slightly larger backpack around the 30-40 litre size. Once rolled, most MRS packrafts will fit inside the backpack comfortably with space to spare down the inner sides of the backpack. This is clearly fine for portage, but on the return journey unless you are content with the inside of your backpack getting wet, you would benefit from drying the packraft before placing in the backpack or look at securing the packraft to the outside of the backpack. If you have lots of other gear with you, securing your packraft to the outside of your backpack may be your only option.

Whilst some carry their packraft, when rolled, onto the underside of a backpack (where securing straps allow), our recommendation is to secure the packraft to the top of the backpack. This helps keep it out of the way of your legs when walking, but also, it helps protect your MRS packraft when taking your backpack off and placing it on the ground. Look for a backpack that has either two straps fitted to the top or fitting points for preferably at least two fixing points for straps, bungee cords or similar.

See below for two ways of carrying your packraft, one rolled with one top strap (but secure) and another into the side pocket of a backpack!


Other ways to transport your packraft when rolled include strapping it onto your bike for a bikepacking adventure or bikerafting (seeĀ Bikerafting with your MRS) and the photo below. Your packraft can be strapped to the handlebars or a number of other secure points around your bike.


If you would like any more advice on storing, packing or rolling your packraft for adventure, please contact us, we are more than happy to help.

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